A fitting end to a classic hero. Upon closing the final page of this book I was instantly satisfied in the way DC handled the Martian Manhunter’s death. While brutal and carried out as almost an afterthought in the pages of Final Crisis, Peter Tomasi delivers a one-shot that perfectly encapsulates everything that makes J’onn J’onzz a legend in the DC Universe. His colleagues/peers/teammates all have the utmost respect for this senior member of the Justice League, and Tomasi’s narrative here in Requiem sums it all up in just twenty-two pages.
Besides retelling the burial of our fallen heroes, Requiem spends ten pages rewinding the clock to the moment of his death at the hands of Libra. This scene is carried out extremely well during these pages, delivers an action packed sequence (though it’s justification for existing makes it all the more special) and really hammers home how brutal the villains are playing this time around. It’s also a great display of how powerful J’onn actually is. Answer; very.
It was also clever writing by Tomasi when deciding how the rest of the league would find out J’onn was in trouble. I particularly enjoyed Batman’s response which came across with a great sense of sarcasm during this grave situation. It was a perfect showcase of how Bruce deals with trauma and heartache as a defense mechanism for his emotions. What was also great was Ollie and Hal’s conversation over the recently diseased body of J’onn as they discuss what makes a hero and how exactly they can carry on the Manhunter’s legacy; keeping up the good fight.
There were just so many great character moments in this issue contributing to the completion of two tasks. One, they stayed true to every character while dealing with the death of a teammate and friend. Two, all these montages helped put into perspective just how much of an influence J’onn J’onzz is to the DCU. Therefore, Peter Tomasi and Doug Mahnke have created a “final journey of the Martian Manhunter” issue that ranks as one of the better “death” issues I have read in recent years.
If I had to find one fault with the book is would be during the closing pages. There is an extreme usage of narration for a number of pages, and if you have read my previous reviews you know this type of storytelling tends to irk me. I always feel there is a better way to get story points across. But wouldn’t you know it, Tomasi makes use of the narration both literally and in a great context. So by the time I reached the end of the issue, it didn’t bother me. It actually led to a fantastic scene with J’onn’s closest friends honoring him in the grandest way possible. Finally, the book’s last page might make the biggest of DC fanatics shed a tear just like the heroes did in the pages that preceded it.
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